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Projects executed with excellent change management practices are 6X more likely to be successful than those that are executed with poor change management. This means that the quality of change management practices can truly make or break your change management initiatives.  

When it comes to sales, marketing, and customer success, change is vital to driving increased revenue. RevOps teams sit in the command center of all that change, creating strategies to improve operations, adapting systems and processes to perform more effectively, and implementing new systems. To ensure that those operational changes are successful, we’re laying out how to  implement organizational change management.

What is organizational change management?

Organizational change management is the methodical approach to planning, implementing, and assessing change in an organization. Change management and organizational development are closely related. To implement successful changes such as mergers and acquisitions, improving interdepartmental collaboration, and executing new strategies, change management is critical. 

How is organizational change management essential to RevOps?

In order to optimize the systems and processes go-to-market (GTM) teams rely on, RevOps teams are constantly driving change within your most vital tool– your Salesforce instance. Change management provides the framework to keep Salesforce projects on track and encourage users to adapt. Without this framework, RevOps teams invite major risk to their projects and in many cases, to the organization’s bottom line. These risks include:

1. Unplanned downtime: 

Perhaps one of the biggest risks of operational change is unplanned downtime. Making a change in your Salesforce org that causes systems to be inaccessible or essentially useless has a direct impact on revenue. Users are forced to implement their own workaround processes, and important data isn’t logged into Salesforce. 

2. Misaligned GTM teams: 

A lack of organizational change management can also lead to misalignment among GTM teams, which is estimated to cost businesses $1 trillion every year. When all of the stakeholders involved in a change project aren’t on the same page, there’s no way to objectively measure success, and some may feel caught off guard by the outcomes of the project. That can lead to friction, lower morale, and lost opportunities. 

3. Human error

Without change management, your admins are more likely to make errors as they execute changes. For instance, if they skip Sandbox and make changes in production, that can lead to a host of problems, such as mismatched data, broken automation, and inaccurate reporting down the line. 

4. Broken revenue engine 

Above all, the trickle down effects that come from poorly managed change in Salesforce can result in lost revenue. This is because:

  • Unexpected downtime caused by errors delays projects and negatively impacts the customer experience 
  • Fixing breaks requires additional resources, which come with increased expenses n
  • Inaccurate CRM data and broken workflows can lead to missed opportunities 

Leveraging the right combination of change management systems and processes allows you to circumvent these issues. 

What change management elements are important for RevOps?

In order to implement organizational change management effectively, RevOps teams must focus on the tools and processes that will reduce risk and ensure an efficient process. Here are the more important elements of change management.

1. Communication

An intensive change project can be completely derailed if users fail to adapt. When people are invested, the change is 30% more likely to be successful. That’s why the communications plan is a vital element of change management. Users need to know why the change is being made and how it will impact them. When they feel prepared for change, they’re more likely to accept it.

2. Planning

Organizational change management is all about process. Without a firmly established process, it’s easy for a change project to fly off the rails. By starting with a plan, you ensure that everyone involved knows their role in the process. The plan forces you to consider all of the broader elements of your change project—not just the technical aspects—and assess your risks. Planning also allows you to implement an agile change management process. With an agile approach, you can break your project down into segments, which enables you to adapt as circumstances evolve. 

3. Documentation

Maintaining documentation, both before and after the completion of a project, is an important best practice for RevOps teams to embrace as part of their organizational change management activities. Not only should you document your plan, but you should also document what was changed, when, and by who. This prevents knowledge loss when people leave the team, and it makes it easier to bring new employees up to speed. Also, in the event that something goes wrong, documentation is a key tool for investigating the cause of the error. Using a tool like Sonar’s Scope and Change Management, you can automate this process and maintain documentation in a way that’s accessible to all who need it. 

4. Tools

To communicate, document, and plan for change, you need the right tools. Those tools can range from a project management tool, to a change intelligence tool that shows you the downstream impact of any change you make to your Salesforce org, before you make it. Failing to consider which tools you need for organizational change management can result in gaps in execution. 

For instance, if you don’t have a central location where users can access information about the change, you may find yourself inundated with questions, or users may disengage with your communications. But if you use a tool like Sonar where admins can always go to keep up with the latest changes, you can prevent those communication lapses. 

How Sonar helps Salesforce users with change management 

As you consider which tools to use to manage change, consider adding Sonar to your tech stack. Change Intelligence gives you total awareness of every potential impact and dependency so you can manage complex Salesforce changes with confidence. 

Sonar was purpose-built for RevOps teams, giving insight into the downstream impacts of change within their tech stack. With Sonar in your RevOps toolkit, you can visualize the dependencies of items you want to change to prevent unforeseen issues like broken automations and lost data. 

Change Intelligence closes an important gap in change management. Without it, ops teams have to rely on memory and luck to avoid unintended errors. With it, they can prevent hurdles in their change management processes, automate their documentation, and prevent disruption to users. Give Sonar a try for free today.

Organizational change management FAQs

What are examples of operational changes?

Operational changes include a wide range of activities, both simple and complex:

  • Implementing new tactics to improve the customer lifecycle 
  • Onboarding or sunsetting software
  • Updating a workflow, integration, or automation
  • Adding or removing users from systems

These changes can often be initiated by an organizational change, such as a merger or offering a new product or service.

What are the 4 major components of organizational change?

The key components of organizational change are communication, planning, documentation, and tools.

What are the 7 R’s of organizational change?

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) created the seven Rs of change management to help guide the process of assessing change:

  1. What is the reason for the change?
  2. What is the return required from the change?
  3. Who is responsible for implementation?
  4. Who raised the change?
  5. What are the risks of the change?
  6. What is the relationship between the change and other changes?
  7. What resources do we need?

What are the 3 most common types of organizational change?

The three most common types of organizational change are:

  • Strategic transformational change: These changes are initiated by the need to meet a certain objective or goal. Examples of strategic transformational change include pursuing new customer segments and switching to a new CRM.
  • People-centric change: These changes are related to human resources changes such as onboarding new hires and changing roles and responsibilities.
  • Structural change: These changes revolve around management hierarchy and team responsibilities. Examples include mergers and acquisitions and reorgs.